“Fast Terry,” the documentary film released by Citizens United less than a week ago, appears to have the potential to change the outcome of the Virginia gubernatorial election between the film’s subject, Democratic nominee Terry McAuliffe, and Republican nominee Ken Cuccinelli. That is the conclusion of a report on a focus group conducted of likely Virginia voters by the respected Republican opinion research firm McLaughlin and Associates obtained by Breitbart News.
Reviews of the film agree that its critical portrayal of McAuliffe has not helped his image among Virginia voters. The movie appears to be growing in popularity, judging by the almost 20,000 viewings it has received at the “Fast Terry” website since its release, according to a spokesperson for Citizens United.
But the real key to the film’s influence is how watching the film influences voting behavior among likely voters. The answer, if the results of a focus group conducted by the Republican opinion research firm McLaughlin and Associates are to be believed, appears to be that voters who see the film are significantly less likely to vote for McAuliffe, and significantly more likely to vote for Cuccinelli.
Breitbart News has obtained a copy of the focus group report conducted by McLaughlin Associates of 25 heavily screened undecided likely Virginia voters in June 2012 who viewed a completed version of “Fast Terry.” The film dramatically changed the intended voting behavior of the focus group members.
Before they saw “Fast Terry,” the focus group offered neither candidate “significant support,” though “McAuliffe led Cuccinelli on the ballot – 40% to 16%.”
“After viewing ‘Fast Terry’,” the report states, “the ballot flips, with Cuccinelli leading McAuliffe 48% to 16%.”
In the political world this 32 percent swing to Cuccinelli, combined with a 24% swing away from McAuliffe is huge. It has the potential to change the outcome of the election if the 30 minute film is widely seen by Virginia voters.
The McLaughlin and Associates focus group report concluded that “[w]ith enough resources to distribute this film, ‘Fast Terry’ can have, possibly, the greatest impact on this election than any other project.”
Politico reported on July 24 that Citizens United has already made initial committments to spend $350,000 on internet ads and television to promote the film. Given the film’s early success, it is a good bet that number may grow.